This lemon herb tahini dressing creates the most delicious and versatile condiment that you will want to make, over, and over again! Fresh herbs and lemon juice add freshness to any dish – this low-carb tahini sauce goes great with roasted vegetables and salads (grilled meats too)!
- What Is Tahini?
- Why You Will Love Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- Which Herbs Go With Lemon and Tahini?
- Is Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce Vegan?
- Is This Recipe Good For A Low-Carb/Keto Diet?
- Is This Lemon Herb Tahini Recipe a Sauce Or A Dressing?
- What You Need To Make Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- How To Make Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing (With Slideshows)
- Can You Use Dried Herbs For This Recipe?
- Should This Lemon Herb Tahini Be Served Hot or Cold?
- How To Store Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- The Recipe:
Tahini is an ingredient that is found in many pantries, including my own, but it is also one of those ingredients that sort of gets forgotten and just sits in the back of the cabinet or refrigerator. Remember that jar that you bought when you gave that middle eastern-inspired dinner party and needed it to make the hummus and baba ganoush for your mezze table a few months ago? Or that impulse purchase after you saw an Instagram post about “Ingredients Every Home Cook Should Have?” And now you realize the other half of that jar has been sitting and taking up that valuable real estate and on the verge of being forgotten until who-knows-when?
Well, what a lot of people don’t realize is that tahini is an EXTREMELY versatile ingredient and can be used for savory recipes like this lemon herb tahini dressing (or sauce) and for sweet recipes, like these 5 ingredient keto tahini cookies (yes, you can also bake with it)!
Tahini is also healthy! It is high in protein, fiber, and low-carb – perfect for a keto follower like myself! It also has a good amount of the antioxidants selenium and a natural chemical called sesamol, which have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties as well! Plus, there is promising research indicating that this compound can help prevent cancer – just one more reason to find more ways to use tahini!
What Is Tahini?
Tahini is essentially a sesame paste made from hulled, raw sesame seeds. The appearance, consistency, and taste are much like raw peanut butter – which is why tahini is also sometimes referred to as “sesame seed butter.” Although it is traditionally used in Middle Eastern cuisine, tahini is also used in North African, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese cuisines as well. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in dips, sauces/salad dressing (like this lemon herb recipe), and for baking, like my recipe for keto tahini cookies! In that post, you can also read more information about tahini, how to choose good quality paste, and how to make a homemade paste as well.
Why You Will Love Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
There are so many reasons to love this dressing, but to name a few, this dressing is:
- Quick and easy to make – this takes less than five minutes to whisk up
- Healthy – keto, paleo, packed with B-vitamins and minerals
- Versatile – can be used for cold and warm dishes without “curdling”
- Delicious – bright, citrus flavor with fragrant herbs
Which Herbs Go With Lemon and Tahini?
Although lemon and tahini are a typical middle eastern combination, I tend to use it mostly for dishes from this region, along with typical middle eastern herbs and spices because I feel that those work best with tahini. However, you can choose what you like best from the following suggestions:
Is Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce Vegan?
Yes, this herb tahini sauce (or dressing) is “egg-less,” dairy-free, and made with 100% plant-based ingredients – just sesame paste, lemon juice, herbs, and olive oil!
Is This Recipe Good For A Low-Carb/Keto Diet?
Yes, this is a low-carb recipe that is great for a ketogenic diet because tahini is very low in carbohydrates and contains a lot of good fats from the sesame seeds and olive oil. People that follow a keto diet require 55-60% of their calorie intake to come from healthy fats, preferably plant-based sources. Plus, tahini is the only ingredient in the recipe that contains any carbohydrates!
Is This Lemon Herb Tahini Recipe a Sauce Or A Dressing?
Depending on what you want to use it for, this recipe can either be a sauce or a dressing! Because there are no egg or dairy products used, it is more stable and can be eaten slightly warm, at room temperature, or cold! You can also adjust the consistency to your liking by thinning it out with extra lemon juice or water or using less of one (or both) for a thicker sauce.
What You Need To Make Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
- Mixing bowl – a vessel sturdy enough for whisking
- Mortar and pestle (optional) – to “bruise the herbs” and release extra flavor
- Garlic press (optional) – to avoid larger pieces of garlic throughout the mixture
- Whisk – to emulsify and seamlessly blend the tahini with the other ingredients
- Tahini – choose either hulled or unhulled tahini, there will only be a slight difference in color
- Fresh lemons – (or lemon juice)
- Extra virgin olive oil – light and fruity, it adds a richness to the dressing
- Water – to thin out the dressing
- Cumin – adds light smoky flavor and depth
- Garlic – compliments the lemon and herbs
- Fresh herbs – mint, oregano, cilantro, and parsley: I chose these herbs because the fresh, yet earthy combination compliments the nuttiness of the tahini and the citrus flavor from the lemon juice.
How To Make Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing (With Slideshows)
Chop the herbs as fine as you like, or use the chiffonade method. You may then use a mortar and pestle to pound the herbs to extract the natural oils.
In a mixing bowl, add the minced garlic, tahini, lemon juice, water, salt, cumin, and all of the chopped herbs. Whisk until combined.
Can You Use Dried Herbs For This Recipe?
I personally feel that this is negotiable: of course, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh or a combination. However, I strongly feel that if you have fresh herbs available it is the best choice. Keep in mind that dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor and that you should adjust the amounts using the 1:3 ratio. For example:
1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs
Are some herbs better to use fresh than dried?
In my opinion, yes. Heartier, “woody” herbs like rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage tend to do well with the preservation of flavor when dried, so I would use these herbs dried in a pinch! However, the more delicate herbs like mint, chives, coriander, basil, parsley, dill, etc., taste much better when they are fresh – rather than stale, when dried.
Should This Lemon Herb Tahini Be Served Hot or Cold?
This sauce/dressing can be served either chilled, at room temperature, or warm. And because this recipe contains no dairy or egg, there is no risk of curdling or cooking. However, if tahini is heated too much it may harden or thicken due to loss of liquid or evaporation (if this occurs, simply stir the sauce and add water if needed).
How To Store Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing
This dressing MUST be refrigerated and will remain fresh in an air-tight container for up to 10 days (the acidic lemon juice helps to “preserve” the fresh herbs and prevent spoilage). You may also freeze this dressing! For convenience, you can freeze the dressing using ice cube trays and thaw a few portions at a time, or as needed.
Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce (Dressing), Low Carb and Vegan
- ½ cup tahini ( 118 ml)
- ½ cup lemon juice (60 ml, or the juice of 1½ – 2 fresh lemons)
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (78 ml)
- ¼ cup water (60 ml)
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh mint (or 1 tsp dried mint)
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried parsley)
- 1 tbsp coriander (or 1 tsp dried coriander)
- Chop the herbs into medium to fine pieces. Alternatively, you can roll the herbs and chiffonade the herbs into thin strips. Set the herbs aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add minced or finely chopped garlic with tahini, lemon juice, water, cumin, salt, and herbs. Whisk the ingredients until well combined (you may add more or less water according to the preferred thickness of dressing/sauce) ).
- This recipe makes approximately 2 cups of dressing/sauce.
- To serve this sauce warm, heat the sauce at a low temperature in a saucepan while constantly stirring, or in the microwave on a setting no higher than 400 watts, stirring every 30 seconds until warmed through but not boiling (the sauce may excessively thicken or scorch if heated too much).
Have you ever had tahini in a salad dressing? Will you be trying this recipe?
Comment with any tips or tricks below!